For immediate release
July 21, 2021
Las Vegas, NV – On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the United States District Court in Nevada ordered a rare and extraordinary injunction against Station Casinos’ Red Rock Casino for their outrageous conduct during the December 2019 National Labor Board Relations (NLRB) union election at the property. In its thorough 34-page decision, the federal court found a likelihood that the NLRB’s General Counsel will largely prevail in an ongoing trial before the NLRB in which the General Counsel is seeking to prove that Station Casinos committed wide-ranging violations of federal labor law.
The federal court imposed a 10(j) bargaining order against Station Casinos, which mandates that the company must recognize the Culinary and Bartenders Unions as the official bargaining representatives at Red Rock Casino and begin negotiations for a first union contract immediately, even as the NLRB proceeding continues. The Culinary Union represents approximately 1,350 Red Rock Casino workers and has already sent a request to Station Casinos’ for prompt negotiation dates.
Nationwide, 10(j) bargaining order from the NLRB is very rare. In the Culinary Union’s 86-years, the Culinary Union has never been granted a 10(j) bargaining order.
“We are pleased with the federal court’s extraordinary and vindicating ruling in favor of Red Rock Casino workers,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “We commend Red Rock Casino workers for their courage and resilience in the face of the massive anti-union campaign that Station Casinos waged against their own employees and we look forward to negotiating and winning a union contract to protect workers.”
The Culinary Union had always maintained that Station Casinos’ Red Rock Casino seriously interfered with workers’ right to a free and fair union election under federal law in the December 19-20, 2019 NLRB union election, that the NLRB would find the company’s schemes illegal and order Red Rock Casino to recognize the union and bargain a contract. Station Casinos management announced just after the Culinary and Bartenders Unions filed for the election at Red Rock Casino, that it would be making its HMO health plan premium-free and deductible-free, and did so a few days before the election was held. Station Casinos also announced increased company contributions to workers’ 401(k) accounts.
In issuing the 10(j) bargaining order, the federal court cited Station Casinos’ “hallmark violation” of federal labor law, which the court described as “so outrageous that it undermined the fairness of future elections.” The court directed that negotiations must commence expeditiously in good faith with the Culinary Union. Should Station Casinos refuse, it faces the risk of being held in contempt of court, with possible fines and even jail time for those responsible.
“Over the years we have organized, walked picket lines, did delegations, had protests, and voted to unionize because we want to be treated fairly,” said Steve Bailey, a bellman at the Red Rock Casino. “It’s been a long journey, but getting a contract to protect my coworkers and I is worth it. Having Red Rock Casino be union means everything to us.”
United States District Court Judge Gloria M. Navarro wrote in her injunction order:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Red Rock, its officers, agents, servants, representatives…shall:
(a) Cease and desist from:
(1) interrogating employees about their union support and activities…
(2) soliciting employee complaints and grievances and implying increased benefits and improved terms and conditions of employment to discourage employees from supporting the Union or any other union;
(3) promising employees increased wages or benefits or other improved terms and conditions of employment to discourage them from supporting the Union…
(4) granting employees benefits to discourage employees from supporting the Union…
(5) threatening employees that a strike is inevitable if they choose the Union…
(6) threatening employees with loss of benefits…if they select the Union…
(7) threatening employees that it will engage in dilatory bargaining tactics…
(8) informing employees that it is futile for them to select the Union…
(9) promulgating and maintaining overly-broad and discriminatory rules or directives prohibiting employees from talking about the Union…
(10) assigning employees more onerous terms and conditions of employment because of their membership in or support for the Union…
(11) changing employees’ schedules or lowering their seniority because of their membership or support for the Union…
(12) disciplining employees because of their membership or support for the Union…
(13) making changes to terms and conditions of employment without providing the Union with notice and an opportunity to bargain with regard to those changes;
(14) failing and refusing to recognize and bargain in good faith with the Union…
(15) in any other manner interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization, to form labor organizations, to join or assist the Union or any other labor organization, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, or to refrain from any and all such activities;
The federal court order also directs that Station Casinos must:
*Within 5 days, post copies notifying all employees of the federal government’s ruling in English and Spanish
*Within 14 days, hold mandatory employee meetings (on working time) where Station Casinos must read aloud pages 30-34 of the order directing Red Rock Casino to cease and desist from engaging in unfair labor practices, in English and Spanish, to all employees, supervisors, managers, and executives.
*Immediately recognize and bargain in good faith with the Culinary Union.
Workers at 10 Station Casinos’ Las Vegas properties are fighting for a union contract: Boulder Station (September 2016)*, Palace Station (October 2017)*, Green Valley Ranch (November 2017)*, Palms (April 2018)*, Sunset Station (June 2019)*, Fiesta Rancho (June 2019)*, Fiesta Henderson (September 2019)*, Red Rock Resort (December 2019)*, Texas Station (April 2021)**, and Santa Fe (April 2021)**.
*NLRB union vote dates. **Pending NLRB complaint seeking an additional bargaining 10(j) order.
Station Casinos has said many times that they would respect their employees’ right to hold an NLRB election:
*“We have said all along that if a fair and lawful election is held we will abide by the results.” – Richard Haskins, president of Station Casinos (Las Vegas Review Journal – September 1, 2016)
*“We…support their right to join a union if they so choose as that decision is theirs, not ours, to make.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – February 12, 2016).
*“We’ve always respected our employees’ right to join a union if that’s what they want to do.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – January 20, 2016)
*“Station Casinos officials have said they are willing to allow a secret-ballot vote” (Las Vegas Review Journal – October 7, 2014)
*“The decision to join a union belongs to our team members, and we respect that right.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – August 29, 2014)
*“We’ve made it really clear that the door is open for a secret-ballot election.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Wall Street Journal – March 22, 2013)
*“Station saying a secret-ballot election is allowed and welcomed.” (Las Vegas Sun – January 22, 2012)
*“If the employees choose they wanna be in the union, then that’s their choice.” – Lorenzo Fertitta (Heavy MMA – September 2, 2011)
*“We have always recognized our team members’ right to be represented by a union if they so choose.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Review Journal – February 17, 2011)
Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) became the parent company of Station Casinos through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2016. The company is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, billionaire supporters of the former president, Donald Trump.
ABOUT CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.